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‘It is possible to save energy and achieve a healthy IEQ’

Better results can be produced if architects and engineers work together in the design stage, says Leo Schuler, the Founder and CEO of Switzerland-based Pro Ace (Progressive Air Consulting and Engineering).

| | Aug 25, 2016 | 6:32 pm
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Dubai, UAE: A flawed building design prevents a building from achieving good indoor air quality (IAQ), often leading to sick building syndrome. Additionally, industry experts in the GCC region claim that it is difficult to achieve energy-savings while maintaining a healthy IEQ. However, Leo Schuler, the Founder and CEO of Switzerland-based Pro Ace (Progressive Air Consulting and Engineering), says that it possible to enjoy the benefits of both, provided the stakeholders of a building take the necessary measures.

“They need to start with the building hull,” says Schuler. “They need to have it properly shaded and insulated to minimise the thermal load from the harsh sun, thereby minimising the cooling load. If they build a glass palace with a glass facade, the thermal load from the sun will be higher.” He adds that it is important to make sensible design choice that is suitable to a region’s climate.

Drawing attention to another aspect, Schuler says: “Players must also analyse what kind of pollutants are threats to the environment to determine what HVAC solutions are necessary; and to find a balance between using outdoor air and recirculating conditioned air. By achieving a high recirculation rate of indoor air, they won’t have to cool as much outdoor air, which will mean lower cooling and dehumidification costs.”

Thirdly, he says that there is a need for engineers in the United Arab Emirates to switch from mechanical filters to chemical filters as they are highly effective against VOCs and other pollutants. “They’re a very good complement to HVAC systems. Upfront, they are more expensive, but they offer savings in energy and running costs,” he adds.

Ultimately, Schuler says, it is important for all stakeholders to work together to deliver better results for building owners and occupants.

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